5 Key Points to Know If your Work Could Be Replaced by a Robot

A recent study by PwC estimates that by the next 2030 the robots will impact 38% of jobs in the United States, 35% in Germany, 30% in the United Kingdom and 21% in Japan. How to try to find out if your work will be among the next ones automated?

As we told you last week, a third of the jobs could be replaced by robots by 2030, according to research conducted by the global firm PwC, focused on the potential impact that automation will have on the jobs of four advanced economies from developed countries: United States, United Kingdom, Germany and Japan. In all of them, the percentages - ranging from 38% of US employment to 21% of the Japanese labor market - show that in several sectors, human capital could be obsolete compared to bots in just fifteen years.

To prepare this report, PwC examined two previous studies conducted in 2013 and 2016, respectively, and then analyzed several factors that are warning signs for certain sectors of the labor market that will undergo a profound transformation due to automation. The estimations are based on an algorithm that links the mechanization through robots or Artificial Intelligence to the characteristics of the tasks that each job requires and the traits of the worker, for example, the levels of training necessary for the performance of the job.

5 points on the jobs most likely to be automated

There are several conclusions that emerge from the PwC report and that you can use to detect if your work sector or job have all the letters to be replaced by a robot in the coming years:

  • Four sectors in the eye of the hurricane: As we have indicated, there are certain areas and professions with a high risk of automation. If you work in the retail sector, both wholesale and retail, where the distribution with drones is already a reality in companies like Amazon, perform your repetitive task in a factory of any industry, you work in the administrative world and customer service area in the one that already begins to be palpable the use of bots-, or in the area of ​​logistics, transport and storage, you have enough possibilities to be replaced by a robot.
  • The key differentiating factor for individual workers is education: Different visions, studies, specialists and critics are unanimous with respect to the importance of specialized training and the power of digital literacy so that human employment puts the focus on more jobs critics, that contribute value and that are more linked to creativity, relegating robots to the most dehumanized and mechanical work. According to the EU, in the coming years will require more than 900,000 highly qualified (and highly paid) ICT professionals.
  • The most vulnerable profile before automation: the man of low educational level. This was one of the conclusions reached by the report, since only in the United Kingdom, the difference between the jobs at risk was 6.3 million for those employed by men compared to 4.1 million for the employed for women. In the British country, around a third of men are in high-risk positions. We are facing a "Skill Revolution", where more technical and specialized work profiles are required, with the ability to adapt to change. "Helping people to improve and adapt to a rapidly changing work world will be the defining challenge of our time," said Jonas Prizing, President and CEO of ManpowerGroup, in another report published in January.
  • Does your work require emphasis on social skills and digital literacy ?: It is not industries that are in danger, but human work in those sectors with lower training profiles or more repetitive actions. While areas such as social work or education are much less vulnerable to automation, you should be concerned if the knowledge they demand in your work is only linked to manual and routine tasks or physical effort. Think about how low-level information gathering, parking attendants or online sales have more and more technological or AI tools in their ranks.
  • There are two key variables that could be decisive at the time of the possible loss of employment: one is the rate of technological progress -which will not be uniform or regular throughout the planet- and another is the set of laws and government regulations around the use of robots. For example, vehicles without a driver or Bitcoin cryptocurrency have suffered setbacks in their regulatory efforts, and there are many voices - from Bill Gates to the European Union - who want robots to pay taxes like individuals or have limited personality electronic, while the society and technological leaders of the stature of Elon Musk show their fear before the arrival of the Artificial Intelligence.